It’s almost Valentine’s Day, which means that it’s time to find cute ways for your children to express affection for family, friends and teachers. Here are eight Pinterest-inspired ideas to help your kids celebrate the day.
1. Monkey Around
Sometimes expressing affection for friends or classmates can be tricky without coming across as too love-centered. These monkey handprints are the perfect balance. Use brown paint to create handprints that can be turned into a monkey hanging from a branch. Add a message such as “I like hanging around with you.” You have the perfectly-appropriate greeting for friends.
2. Make a Love Jar
Fill a Mason jar with slips of paper upon which you’ve written different ways to show affection, love and happiness, such as “Hug Mom,” “Smile at everyone,” and “Give Dad a kiss.” Have your kids pick a slip in the morning each day until Valentine’s Day and then talk at dinner about how they acted on the slip during the day.
3. Feed their Sweet Tooth
As long as we’re talking about Mason jars, measure out all the dry ingredients needed for cookies into Mason jars and decorate with ribbons, stickers and more. Attach the recipe and let the baking commence. These make a wonderfully sweet gift for teachers.
4. Turn on your Love Light
Take a small, clear plastic cup, Valentine’s Day-colored tissue paper, and glue water. Let your child creatively apply tissue paper squares to the cup with the glue water. Then place a battery-operated tea light inside. These make lovely decorations or gifts.
5. Make a Bouquet by Hand
You don’t have to buy roses for Valentine’s Day. Have your children trace their hands and color/paint them in red. Cut out the handprints, add green pipe cleaners to the bottom, and tie together with ribbon. You have a handmade bouquet!
6. It’s not Just for the Birds…
(or is it?) Valentine’s Day can be a great time to talk about showing care and kindness for all, including animals. Heart-shaped bird feeders can be a great way to do this. Mix ¾ cup of flour, ½ cup of water, one envelope of unflavored gelatin, 3 tablespoons of corn syrup, and 4 cups of birdseed. Form with a heart-shaped cookie cutter, then add string and hang in your trees. Festive and filling!
7. Be Salty
Make some easy salt dough (or use modeling clay) and shape into small balls. Flatten using a rolling pin. Have your children press their thumbs into the dough to make a heart shape or cut out with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Bake in a 250 degree oven until set. Then decorate to your heart’s content with paint, glitter, or markers. These can make
ornaments, desktop keepsakes,
or even small necklaces.
8. Be a Love Bug
These adorable love bugs can be easily made with heart-shaped puffy stickers, pom poms, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes. They make adorable party favors or gifts for classmates and allow your child’s creativity to play.